Where to stay in Bermuda
Before you start searching for a hotel in Bermuda, your first consideration should be the location or place of stay. Because that will decide what you get in and around that place. And once you know that, you can decide if you want to stay in that location.
For example, if you want a hotel close to a beach, then you should be ideally choosing a parish like Paget, Warwick or Southampton as your location of stay. Because they have beautiful beaches running along the south shore, and there are several hotels that take advantage of the amazing pink sands and turquoise water, some having their own lovely private beaches.
On the other hand, if you want to stay close to many great restaurants and eateries, shops of all kinds, pubs and bars, then the place to stay is Hamilton City or near about. And if your primary consideration is to stay near the airport, then St. George should be the preferred location of stay.
Take a look at this Parish Map of Bermuda
to get an understanding of where the different parishes of the island are located. The island is small (only 21 square miles in area), so neighboring parishes would often have common advantages such as proximity to beaches and other attractions. Below are the great places to stay in the island with their respective advantages and recommended hotels:
Paget is a centrally located parish (also known as Mount Pleasant). The advantages are plenty, one of the main ones being proximity to Hamilton City (takes about 10-minute ride by bus or scooter). So you get quick access to all the great restaurants, pubs and stores. No distance is too far from Paget. The maximum time of travel to either end (east or west) would be at the most 45 minutes.
Elbow Beach, Paget
Paget has wonderful south shore beaches. The famous Elbow Beach
is located in Paget. And there are several others including the lovely Grape Bay Beach
, Coral Beach and so on. Many other top beaches of the island are also at a convenient distance, for example the Astwood Cove, Warwick Long Bay, Jobson's Cove... all are short bus rides away.
The north shore of Paget overlooks the Hamilton Harbor
and across to the City of Hamilton (the Capital of Bermuda). There are several ferry docks on the north shore where you can take ferries to Hamilton or other places within the island, or avail a sailing boat tour to get around the harbor, go further into the ocean to explore small islands, snorkel, watch sunset etc.
The section of the Bermuda Railway Trail
at Paget is very scenic and passes through lovely landscape with views of the harbor. It's great for walking and cycling. Walk along the boardwalk of Paget Marsh
- a 25-acre nature reserve full of cedars and palmettos and you can see vegetation that once existed in the island during pre-colonial days. Bermuda Botanical Gardens
is located in Paget which showcases lush plantation and flowering gardens with wonderful walking trails.
Masterworks Museum of Art
- the most popular art gallery of Bermuda with its rich collection of artwork is located in the same premises as Botanical Garden and so is the Premier's official residence The Camden House
. The 1796 built St. Paul's Church
- an Anglican church too is worth paying a visit.
While almost all large hotels and resorts in Paget have their own restaurants, cafes and bars that are open to outside guests as well, there are few that need separate mention:
Mickey's Beach Bistro & Bar: It's a beach bar located right on Elbow Beach where you can dip your toes into the sand and relish a drink. It's run by Elbow Beach Resort.
Paraquet Restaurant: A nice budget friendly family restaurant where you can get authentic Bermudian as well as western food. It's a locals favorite.
Recommended hotels in Paget
There are several hotels located along the beautiful stretch of south shore some of which have their own private beaches. There are also nice hotels and lodges on the north shore of Paget that have great views of Hamilton Harbor.
Elbow Beach Resort ($$$$): A luxury resort located on Elbow beach with its own private section of the beach.
Newstead Belmont Hill Resort ($$$$): Overlooking the Hamilton Harbor, this luxury class hotel offers well appointed rooms and suites with great harbor views apart from access to the nearby 8-hole Belmont Hill Golf Course.
Coco Reef Resort ($$$): Another great hotel on Elbow beach with Bermusian style of architecture and pastel colors. Also has its own private beach.
Dawkins Manor ($): Located in a quiet place in a garden setting yet conveniently, this is meant for those looking for budget apartments with a quality stay.
Greenbank Guesthouse ($): A small property at Salt Kettle with a wonderful view of the harbor. All rooms feature free wi-fi and air-conditioning.
For complete information about Paget parish, check out Paget Info
This is where the western part of Bermuda begins. From the airport (in St. George), it would take about 40-45 minute cab ride to get to your hotel in Southampton. And it takes only about 35-minute bus ride from Southampton to reach the Royal Naval Dockyard located at the west-end of Bermuda which is home to the National Museum
and several other great attractions.
Southampton's main treasures are its fabulous south shore beaches with pink sand. Horseshoe Bay Beach
consistently figures in world's top list of best beaches, Church bay
is arguably the best beach in the island for snorkeling, West Whale Bay
has a park with a lovely beach and fort and great for whale watching during spring.
Horseshoe Bay Beach (Southampton)
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
in Southampton is the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the world. You can climb the 185 steps to the top and get marvelous views of the Great Sound water area. There are two championship 18-hole golf courses in Southampton - Port Royal
with breathtaking views of the ocean (also a venue for PGA Grand Slams) and Turtle Hill Course
While there are several great restaurants here which are part of the luxury hotels like Fairmont Southampton, you will also get several independent restaurants (both budget and upscale) and pubs that are excellent like the Henrys VIII
, (a traditional British pub operating since 1970 and a favorite meeting point for locals and expatriates), Dining Room
(a nice restaurant serving good continental food and located at the base of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse) Gulfstream
(a seafood restaurant located near Horseshoe bay beach).
Recommended hotels in Southampton
There are several fabulous hotels along the south shore with lovely beaches. Although there are few budget guesthouses and apartments in Southampton, most hotels here are upscale.
Fairmont Southampton ($$$$): A luxury hotel overlooking the south shore with its own beach house and private beach located next to Horseshoe bay. The resort has its own golf course - the Turtle Hill Golf Course.
The Reefs ($$$$): A great resort with its main building, cottages and infinity swimming pool fringing the lovely private beach. Rooms have great ocean views with private patio or balcony.
Pompano Beach Club ($$$$): A great homely resort with its own beach and in-house health club, spa, and water sport center offering snorkel, kayaks, sail boats and more. The resort is located next to Port Royal Golf Course and offers easy access.
Greene's Guesthouse ($): Excellent BnB with air-conditioning, microwave and other utility amenities. It's located in a quiet place and overlooks the Great Sound water area. The bus stop is nearby.
One of the main reasons you would choose to stay here is because you want to be centrally located for easy commuting across the island by bus, ferry and taxi, and also be close to all the commercial establishments. Hamilton City is the capital of Bermuda and located in Pembroke parish.
The city has plethora of great restaurants serving all types of cuisine, bars, shops of all kinds and even nightclubs. Most business travelers prefer to stay here because of proximity to business houses. Many tourists prefer the place too because other than numerous eateries and shops, all bus routes and ferry routes in the island operate from Hamilton, which means you have easy access to most parts of the island from here.
Hamilton Harbor and the City
Hamilton City has its own great attractions... City Hall & Art Center
is one of the main landmarks here which houses the National Gallery and Bermuda Society of Arts. Nearby is the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity
... another towering church built originally in 1884. There are several lush garden parks such as Queen Elizabeth Park and Victoria Park surrounded by greenery and great for relaxing. You can visit one of the waterfront public places like Albuoys Point or Waterfront Park for great views of the harbor.
Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
is located at Hamilton where you can participate in interactive ocean exhibits and explore marine artifacts. The 1889 built Fort Hamilton
once protected intrusions at Hamilton Harbor. And there are plenty of museums, monuments, historic buildings and other attractions in Hamilton. You can take a Train Trolley Ride
to pass by and see several of them. And if you happen to be here on a summer Wednesday, you can experience Harbour Nights
... one of the greatest festivals taking place on Front Street showcasing Bermudian culture, food and traditions.
There are numerous restaurants, small eateries, cafes, bistros and bars in Hamilton.
The family run take-away place Art Mel's Spicy Dicy is located at the outskirts and arguably makes the best fish sandwich in the island;
Mad Hatters is a small yet extremely popular mid-range restaurant offering European fusion food;
Robin Hood Pub with its sports bar is very popular among the locals and expats;
The sophisticated restaurant Barracuda Grill serves some of the finest seafood in the island;
Ascots has carved out its name in fine dining and serves excellent seafood;
There are even popular mobile food trucks in Hamilton such as the Smokin Barrel that offer hot food at cheap prices... the choices are plenty.
Recommended hotels in Hamilton City
There are several hotels and resorts in budget, mid-range and luxury categories that offer great harbor or north shore views, and some are set up in wonderful garden settings.
The stylish boutique hotel Royal Palms is located on a tree-lined lane and has received many awards;
Another boutique hotel Rosedon holds the coveted Relais & Châteaux membership.
Warwick is located between Southampton (to its west) and Paget (to its east) and has some of the best stretches of south and north shores of Bermuda. You can reach your hotel in Warwick within 35-40 minutes from the airport. Hamilton City is around 25-minute bus ride.
The main attraction of this parish is its beautiful pink south shore beaches. One of the best pink beaches in the island, Warwick Long Bay
- a half a mile long stretch of pink sand is located here, Jobson's Cove
located next to Warwick Long Bay is a small romantic cove surrounded by rocks and great for snorkeling, Astwood Cove
is a lovely little pink beach with a park located above it. In fact you can take a walk along the beautiful sandy trail of South Shore Park
and see many amazing south shore beaches and coves.
Warwick Long Bay Beach
There are couple of nice restaurants in Warwick. Blu Bar & Grill
is an upscale restaurant and bar serving American and Western cuisine and overlooks the wonderful Belmont Hill Golf Course. The original Swizzle Inn Pub has its branch at Warwick - Swizze Inn South Shore
... try out the Rum Swizzle.
Recommended hotels in Warwick
While there aren't many luxury resorts in this parish, you will find several nicely appointed apartments, guesthouses and bed and breakfast accommodations here. And there are several grocery stores and supermarkets where you can buy grocery items and other provisions for cooking, and even deli type ready food that are affordable.
Watercolours ($): This is an excellent harbor-front property with a small pool with palms swaying above it... ideal for a great romantic vacation. It's run by a Bermudian lady who is an artist herself.
Granaway ($): An old colonial house converted into a wonderful guesthouse. Rooms have different colors and private patios. There is a cottage as well and a swimming pool.
Clairfont Apartments ($): Nice suites and rooms with separate living rooms and well equipped kitchenettes. Excellent as self catering units for both couples and families. It's at a close walking distance of Warwick Long Bay.
If you want to stay near both Hamilton City and the Airport, then Hamilton Parish can be a great choice.. Hamilton City can be reached by bus in about 30-35 minutes while a taxi ride to the airport takes 15-20 minutes. You will also have convenient access to the historic town of St George to the east (20-25 minutes by bus).
Shelly Bay Beach
Hamilton Parish is home to some of the top attractions of the island such as
Shelly Bay Beach, an excellent shallow calm water beach popular to families and children;
Tom Moore's Jungle, a reserve with nature trails, blue holes (great for swims) and hidden caves;
Blue Hole Watersports offers kayaks, snorkels, rental boats etc. You can take a Boston whaler and explore the many tiny islets on Castle Harbor;
North shore of Hamilton Parish is very scenic and you get wonderful views of the water all the way up to Coney Island. Walk along the Railway Trail to enjoy the views.
Hamilton Parish has several excellent restaurants and pubs.
Swizzle Inn is the island's first pub and the inventor of the island drink known as rum swizzle.
Tom Moore's Tavern is steeped with history and offers some of the finest Bermudian cuisine.
Jamaican Grill is a small family run eatery serving authentic Caribbean food.
Bailey's Bay Ice Cream is arguably the best ice cream parlor in the island serving a range of flavors (some 40 different types).
Recommended hotels in Hamilton Parish
The parish is suitable for both budget and luxury travelers and offers a range of accommodation options:
Grotto Bay Beach Resort ($$$): A popular luxury resort with its own beach and the only one that offers all-inclusive option in the island.
Rosewood ($$$): A great hotel designed in classic British style offering rooms, suites and villas. It has its own private beach (supposedly the longest private beach in the island) and offers access to the neighboring 18-hole Tucker's Point golf course.
Clearview Suites ($$): Nice apartments with many of its rooms overlooking the north shore. Has a swimming pool too.
There are two primary reasons for you to consider a stay in St George which is located at the far east of the island:
First if you take interest in history and like yourself to be immersed in the memories of colonial days as you walk through the narrow lanes and alleyways that still bear the 17th century names and explore the numerous historical buildings, churches and landmarks, then this is the place for you. The town of St George is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The second reason is its proximity to the airport. In fact, the airport and the town are both in St George's parish. From any hotel in St George, the airport will take less than 10 minutes by cab. St. George is a also a port town... several cruise ships dock here too.
Water Street, St George Bermuda
Photo: Charles Lewis, Shutterstock
is the main town square here surrounded by several historic buildings and nice restaurants. The parish has several lovely beaches... Tobacco Bay
with its beach house, water sport activities and restaurant is a very popular beach here, and so is Clearwater Beach
located at St. David's... an excellent family beach with a beach bar.
Built originally in 1600s, Fort St. Catherine
is one of the largest and best forts in the island showcasing the colonial military exhibits. St. Peter's Church
is the oldest Anglican church in the western hemisphere that has run continually. Tucker House Museum
is where you can see how families lived in the island in 1700s. And there are many more... refer to St. George's Attractions
to know about them all.
Recommended hotels in St. George
There are both budget and luxury class hotels in St. George. You can also get excellent accommodation in couple of clubs. Here are the best accommodation options in St. George:
St. George's Club ($$$): 18-acre property with one and two-bedroom units offering access to the club swimming pools, restaurant and bar, fitness center, nearby beach etc. X Closed
Mid Ocean Club ($$$) Great cottage type accommodations with water views. Easy access to its own golf course.
Aunt Nea's Inn ($): A nice guesthouse in a traditional Bermudian house built in 1800s.
Sandys is the western most Parish in Bermuda and happens to be the farthest from the airport. But there are some good reasons that you may consider this parish for your stay.
The Royal Naval Dockyard
is the main cruise port located in this parish, but it is also a large tourist complex having some of the top attractions of the island including the National Museum
showcasing rare exhibits and artifacts of Bermuda's maritime and colonial history, Dolphin Quest
is a renowned dolphin show and interaction center, The Clocktower Mall
is a great shopping arcade with boutique stores. Other attractions in the parish includes Somerset Bridge
which is the smallest draw bridge in the world, Fort Scaur
... a 19th century fort built by the British, and there are many more...
Somerset Bridge at Sandys
Sandys is also home to several great beaches like Somerset Long Bay
... a nice secluded beach backed by a park and a reserve, Daniel's Head
... a small beach on western coast where you can kayak to explore the shoreline, Hog Bay Beach
... a tiny secluded beach that disappears in high tide, Snorkel Park
in dockyard is full of water sports and amenities including restaurant and bar.
Sandys also has several great restaurants and pubs. Frog & Onion
is one of the oldest pubs in the island and has its own brewery making local beers, Bonefish Bar & Grill
specializes in seafood and its outside patio offers great views of the water, Somerset Country Squire
is a traditional British style pub, Cafe Amici
at the dockyard serves excellent Italian fares.
Recommended hotels in Sandys
The parish has several top class accommodations on the waterfront offering amazing sunset views.
Cambridge Beaches ($$$$): A sprawling resort with villa style accommodations and many of them overlooking the western waters. Has its own private beaches and beach bar.
Willowbank ($$): A nice BnB resort and has its own private beach.
All The Great Hotels and Lodgings
But there are far more hotels and lodgings in the island than the ones I mentioned above. Here are few great resources to find the top accommodations in different categories (budget, mid-range and luxury) by location or parish.
Visitors' Reviews and Comments
Lisa (October 2016)
Hi Raj, I am loving reading everything about Bermuda! We are planning to go on a family vacation with our children, ages 17 and 20, between Christmas and New Years. We are not really beach goers or night life seekers. We want to see all the cultural, historic and scenic things that the island has to offer. Which Parish would you recommend that we stay, what sites should we see and how many days would you recommend. Travelling on a budget is also important to us! We'd like to eat good local food and enjoy Bermuda like we were coming to live there!
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) October 2016
Hi, St. George is a great place to stay if you love historic sites. The parish is also scenic and rich with Bermuda's culture. However being at the eastern end of the island (near airport), commuting to Hamilton (the capital) and western parishes would take a while (about an hour or more by bus). If you like to stay centrally and have more choices of hotels, then Paget is a good parish to stay. Full 5-7 days would give you a nice flavor of the island.
To live like Bermudians, rent a vacation apartment with a kitchen, buy groceries and cook your food. Food trucks at Hamilton are good ways to taste local food, so are small eateries like Gojo's cafe at St. George, Art Mel's at Hamilton and lot others. Try out traditional afternoon tea (several options in Hamilton and other parishes), as well as an island drink like rum swizzle at Swizzle Inn at Hamilton parish. You will find information about all these in my website.
Karen Doyle (October 2014)
Hi Raj, we are planning to visit Bermuda for a week towards the end of July 2015. We shall be coming from the UK and therefore know very little about Bermuda - other than it looks an idyllic place to holiday. The questions I have relate to where to stay. I've read about the various parishes and they all sound wonderful. My husband and I are very active and in our 50's. We would like to stay near a beach that is calm (would the west coast be better?) and the sunniest spot if there is one. Also if we could be relatively close to shops, restaurants etc that we be super as we are hoping to stay in one of the lovely BnB's on the island. Many thanks and kindest regards, Karen.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) October 2014
Looking at your requirements, Southampton can be a good place to choose.
Priya (April 2014)
Hi, your website has been really helpful! However I need your advice on finding a budget hotel/accommodation near to the Fairmont Southampton as we'll be attending a wedding there in June whilst on our trip. I'm travelling with my partner and two children aged 3 months and 19 months so I'm looking for something that's also child friendly and easy access to the beach as well as the Fairmont hotel. Many Thanks!
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) April 2014
Hi, there aren't many budget hotels in Southampton where Fairmont Southampton is located. You can consider Clairfont Apartment or Granaway - both located at the adjacent Warwick parish and having easy accessibility to Southampton by bus. You will find more info under Warwick Parish
Melinda Lang (April 2014)
My daughter will be an intern at Dolphin Quest this summer. We will be visiting her and the island July 20 - 27, and were surprised to discover that it is high season, as oppposed to the caribbean. This news greatly changes our financial game plan and are hoping you can help. We were looking to lodge close to the Museum for part of our stay (as she will be working some days and we could spend time with her after hours), and then stay at a moderate resort on the beach the days she could acutally take off. Any suggestions for either? We would be much obliged.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) April 2014
Dolphin Quest is inside the National Museum complex and located in the dockyard. There are no resorts or hotels in Dockyard. The only resort in the same parish is Cambridge Beaches which is an upscale (5 star) resort. The next parish is Southampton which has a few good hotels and resorts. Go through Southampton Hotels
. Warwick parish which is located just adjacent to and east of Southampton, has several nice budget and mid range hotels. Check out the link Warwick Parish
for more info.